On this first day of December 2020, as we commemorate World AIDS Day under the theme of “Global Solidarity, Shared responsibility”, HASO invites the population of Seychelles to think of the multiple ways the life prospects of People Living With HIV AIDS(PLWHA) could be improved. As a founding member and chairman of HASO, I am convinced that the main deliverable of all these efforts is resilience.
While there is no question that the fight against HIV AIDS is to be fought on all fronts, it is equally evident that the capacity of the scientific community to eventually come up with a cure for the virus will constitute a breakthrough in that fight. But while we should keep alive the hope that a vaccine against HIV could be just around the corner, we should not forget that a potent social vaccine already exists in the form of human empathy which needs harnessing.
It is by harnessing this great potential that we will fight against laws that codify stigma, discrimination, and criminalization that restrict gender equality and access to human rights-based responses. It is by tapping into this latent force that we will avoid fragmentation in the response and to remain united and inclusive in order to meet our common challenges. It is by reaching into these qualities that we will insist on the fundamental human right of PLWHA to live in dignity and good health over a lifetime so that they can bounce back from adversity and to help each other in doing so.
We are duty-bound to help PLWHA to live a better life, and in so doing, we will be making our contribution in the globalization of human compassion against HIV AIDS. This is the meaning of this year’s theme of World AIDS Day “Global Solidarity, shared Responsibility”.